Comments : 24

Hi there, I started this fun new series where we get to virtually design a dream house. A chance to fulfill all those practical and not so practical ideas into one house that would fulfill your every need. We tackled the kitchen last time and that was such fun for me, next house I could totally seeing implementing those ideas! Click here if you missed the kitchen post.

Now we move onto the dining room… have or not have is the question? For me, a dining room is still important. We do not entertaining nearly as often as we used to but when we do, to me nothing can compare walking into a proper dining room set up with china, crystal and flowers…it still excites me so!

This is one room that I would still want to feel very special and I think the only thing I would do differently would be to USE IT MORE!! I  I actually really love my dining room now and would happily keep it as is, however for this new virtual dream house. doing a few things differently just for kicks. For starters, would vow to eat in it at least a few times a week, even if we are having a sandwich and soup, it would feel special to be there.  So I. have some very definite ideas about this virtual dining room. Ready? Then I cannot wait to hear yours. Here we go……


I would do one of two things on the walls. I would either go completely one way and lacquer them  with the highest sheen possible or I would use a soft blue chinoiserie on the walls (leaning towards the latter) but do love both looks. Here is what I mean-

This would not have to be a huge dining room, my only requirement would be high ceilings. So key to the way a room feels. Even the grandest room will feet squatty with 8 foot ceilings. 10 feet minimum for me, but 12-13 is ideal. Again the actual room size does not have to be huge. I would use molding but might do something like a egg and dart which has a nod towards traditional but feels quite current.

For this virtual house, I must have a round table. At least 72-90″ so I can seat 10 people comfortable. I LOVE a round table, everyone can converse and see each other, they look beautiful when they are set and they take up less space. I would have special tablecloths made for it and change the look that way. I have always loved a round table with a beautiful tablecloth on it.

I would have different tablecloths made as I love a beautiful tablecloth on a round table in the dining room, makes it feel so pretty and intimate. I do not mean these tablecloths necessarily but just showing you for effect-

For chairs, I am seeing a chair with a Gustavian flair, I would go with one of two options that I really like, either an interpreting shield back/spider back painted chair (like the top ones) or a full upholstered very simple shaped chair in a gorgeous rich velvet or a subtle print.  I have always loved a painted chair like these with a dark rich mahogany gable..oooh la la.

A few ideas are below-

These antique  velvet chairs could be beautiful, I  would do them in a super pale blue/gray velvet or a cream velvet

Did this mockup to give you some idea of a feeling I would be looking to create, chinoiserie meets Gustavian:)

Now that you have the visual imagine a big round table with a gorgeous creamy silk tablecloth, these chairs and billow panels blowing in the breeze… imagination gets the best of me sometimes:)

For lighting I do love my Ralph Lauren chandelier but it would be too big so I would opt for the mid sized version as I still really love it or possibly go for an antique piece along the lines of

I would not have the traditional breakfront or sideboard but would look for a pair of beautiful consoles instead. They could house extra china and I would put beautiful jars/arrangements on top with an elegant pair of mirrors and two sconces on either side.

I would put extra chairs against the wall. For window treatments I love what I have now, silk taffeta billowy panels with a gorgeous th9ick trim. So simple but so elegant, I could see duplicating exactly what I have so that’s easy!!

One thing I would do in this house (and if I ever build a future house) is when you build a house there is all kinds of small spaces/nooks behind the sheet rock that actually could be good little storage nooks with a simple little push/swing door.

I would opt to have at least two of those. It is such a smart way to maximize space. I would line them with shelves and store all my china and cxrystal. The door would be wallpaper so its a concealed door but how clever to use empty space this way…amazing more do not! We all know there is no such thing as too much storage!!!

Flooring I would probably purposely choose a ore casual rug to offset the formality of many of the other elements, as an example I might do a simple toned more transitional rug or likely a sisal. I think its nice balance if you don’t want the room to feel too overly formal.

I like the idea of a subtle pattern to add a little interest like a herringbone

And of course you know I am going to have my share of blue and white in this room! But, of course!! Lots of jars, I would put these two (super large 28″ jars) on either side of a very large oversized light wood console


Could even see doing a big beautiful grouping of blue and white on one of the consoles with a big gallery wall of framed botanicals, kind of like what I did here. All porcelains and arrangement from my shop


And that friends are my thoughts on my virtual dining room. I love all these ideas as they are classic and will stand the test of time, but certain parts of it would feel a little more current and that is what makes it fun, to change things up a bit. But certain things like chinoiserie, blue and white, billowy drapes, a gorgeous crystal chandelier….those to me, will always be en vogue.

OK, now it’s your turn! What would you do with your virtual dining room? Only limit is your imagination:) I can’t wait to hear, thanks for stopping in and dreaming along with me. If you missed the first post on kitchen, click here. Wishing you a fabulous day, until next time………

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Oh I love a separate dining room but my ideal would be far less formal. I would love a casual library style with a long farm table and a fireplace. High ceilings, wood beams, bookcases, comfy chairs, huge black iron fixture…glass wall overlooking my private pond! Lol!

Everyone says they love a round table, but when we sit at one, we only wind up talking to the people on either side of us, because we can’t hear anyone else – and if they are talking to other people, we are stuck alone! I prefer a rectangle table for that reason. Conversation flows easier.

I love my dining room, I just wish it was a bit bigger. I really want to put chinoiserie wallpaper in my half-bath guest bathroom. Can you suggest wallpaper companies that offer chinoiserie selections?

I have always loved the Scenic America wallpaper from Zuber, mix with beautiful antiques , Thomas O’Brien crystal chandelier, round table , round mirror, sisal rug, painted chairs , all in a Southern Gone with the Wind house, and a $$$$$$$ bank account. Just dreaming!

Hi, beautiful….everything…soooo much to choose from, which is always nice! Who doesn’t love options?! Question, pls. Love the dining room w/ the mirrored wall/and ikat tablecloth, bird prints, but don’t see any info on designer/sources, I think it said it was tagged… perhaps I am doing something wrong? But would love to know who the designer is/sources. Many thanks! And enjoy your posts very much.

I do have a round kitchen table for informal and daily meals. However, whenever I’ve been at a larger sized round table , I can’t hear as well across the table. i still prefer the rectangle for the formal dining room. It seems as though the space between guests is not as far !!Everything else in your post is just beautiful!

Love the lacquer wall idea. I like wallpaper but less fussy and dated. These look dated to me.
The hidden cabinets is wonderful. Also plays well into the paneling.
I had a beautiful round table and just got rid of it because was having trouble with large dinner parties and fitting everyone on. The new rectangular one is perfect.
I also love making center pieceS for a rectangle one. More options.
Also I love Having two chandeliers.
My favorite dining room I ever did was like a formal library. Wonderful and everyone always loved having dinner on there.

As an ASID interior designer of over 45 years, I have been mystified by the many blue dining rooms. One of the first things learned in design school ( graduate 9f the New York School of Interior Design) is the phycology of color.. Blue is the worst color for ones appetite. If you want to lose weight you eat in a blue dining room and eat off of blue plates. Warm colors, the colors of food, stimulate the appetite and make the food taste better. Red stimulates the most, peach, pink, yellow follow. I would like one would want ones guests to enjoy the food served to the fullest.

Interesting, your comment about eating in the dining room. When my son was growing up I decided that every week we would eat our Sunday dinner in the dining room. My motive was to teach him table manners, and it worked. He has beautiful table manners now.

Love the chinoiserie wallpaper that you have used. Are you able to share the details of where we may buy it?

A dining room is a must, not large but must have black and white marble tile laid on the diagonal, no rug please, 10 foot ceilings, a beautiful chandelier dripping with crystals, beautiful French doors flooding the room with light, dark lacquered walls because I become easily bored with wallpaper. Built in glass fronted china cabinets on all the walls, because I own too much china, a beautiful round table and painted spider backed chairs, seats covered in a soft leather and a console table to hold my topiaries that would be rotated weekly from the greenhouse. I have drawn this house many times. It’s not a large house but it would reflect my sense of style in every inch of the house and gardens.

I love most of your ideas, and would incorporate many of them in my dream dining room. The wallpapers you showed don’t look dated at all, as someone said. They are classic traditional patterns, and always in style! In fact, I have been planning to use a similar one in my dining room re-do. Trouble is, they are very expensive!

I will definitely have 2 yes, 2 walk in closets with shelving floor to ceiling for holiday dishes, chargers and china, built-in lined drawers for multiple utensils, silverware and lined places for silver serving pieces. The second closet would be for linens to hang, or placed on rolled racks (like fabric is displayed in fabric shops), drawers for napkins, napkin rings and table top accessories. I would also, have non slip shelving liners just for crystal drinkware sets and glass pieces to prevent chipping and breakage.

Tina, I love your taste. However, why does every picture, magazine, Pinterest, etc., ONLY feature high ceilings? We all love high ceilings, but not all of us have them in our homes. I live in a very large, beautiful home in one of the most desirable areas in the country, but my home was built in 1983 before the influx of high ceilings in mc’ mansions. I am in the process of redoing my kitchen – it is also large and will be beautiful. In the process I have discovered lighting manufacturers feel there are no high end pretty homes with 8′ ceilings!! Pendant lights are either massive (At least 24″ before the hanging chains) or so petite they look rather insignificant. Why are there no true “mid-size” pendants, about 14-18″ high? Since you are in the business, do you know why 8″ ceilings are so neglected? Is anyone else having trouble finding quality lighting like I am?

Could not love your ideas more, you can design a dining room for me any day! Just beautiful!

We switched from a rectangular dining room table to a round table about a year ago and I just love it.
So happy I made the change and as you said, loosk beautiful when set with a gorgeous tablecloth.
Would love to do the chinoiserie idea just need to convince my husband the price tag is worth it, haha. All lovely ideas and also love your chandelier!

Tina..These rooms are exquisite..such a treat to see…today’s world of design has so many “denatured” places…but these feed the Soul

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